Casino panel hiring process starts - Sunday 12th of June 2005

The government has begun implementing its controversial new gambling legislation by starting the recruitment process for the panel that will advise ministers on suitable locations for new casinos. The panel of five will be responsible for analysing potential locations for one super-casino, eight large properties and eight small casinos. The government had intended to have eight super-casinos but had to cut the number to one to get the legislation approved in parliament.With the government's majority cut to 66 and gambling deregulation proving to be controversial before the general election, it is unlikely that any impetus to add more super-casinos will come from ministers.Instead, backbench pressure is more likely to make ministers revisit the issue.

Any increase in the number of Las Vegas-style properties would be welcomed by local authorities and casino operators, with dozens of schemes having been planned in the months before the legislation was approved. These had included super-casinos at the Millennium Dome, the new Wembley Stadium, in Blackpool and other cities including Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester.The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is overseeing the gambling legislative changes, is looking for panel members with experience of the local or regional planning system, the regeneration of disadvantaged areas and the leisure and tourism industries.The panel will start sifting through potential locations at the end of the year.

The culture department advertisement says: "All panel members must be able to demonstrate independence from any potential interested parties and must have an appreciation of public service values and the need for impartiality."But while the panel will assess the relative merits of each location, the final decision on where the sole super-casino will be built will be made by ministers. Blackpool is seen as the leading contender for such a property as a casino would help the town re-establish itself as a leisure resort.More than 20 operators are believed to have approached Blackpool with a view to developing super-casinos there.

They include Hilton, which owns the Ladbrokes betting chain, and London Clubs International, owner of upmarket high-roller casinos in the capital including Les Ambassadeurs and 50 St James.With the panel expected to finish its analysis at the end of next year, building work on the new casinos is not expected to start until 2007.

Other news from around the same time

Speculators place their bets on the fortunes of casino operator - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Dealers continued to watch London Clubs International yesterday as they speculated that an Indonesia....


Online Gambling Site PartyGaming To Float IPO - Sunday 12th of June 2005

In a move likely to have reverberations across the Web, online poker site PartyGaming has filed for ....


Hold 'em tourneys a big draw around town - Sunday 12th of June 2005

With this week's start of the World Series of Poker, Las Vegas poker rooms are ramping up popular no....


Many Favor Calexico Casino - Sunday 12th of June 2005

CALEXICO, California As reported by the San Diego Tribune: "On the sidewalks in front of the colorfu....


Harrah's-Caesars Merger: Nevada Hearings Will Wait - Monday 6th of February 2006

Nevada's gaming regulators will have to wait a few extra days before deciding if Harrah's Entertainm....


Mississippi University Can Run Casino Courses - Sunday 12th of June 2005

"The University of Southern Mississippi can proceed with its casino management program, Chancery Jud....


Video Slots a Hit - Sunday 12th of June 2005

When Donna Muir first tried to play the newest video slot machines at the Quil Ceda Creek Casino, sh....


Multimedia Games Wins VictoryLand Contract - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Multimedia Games, Inc. (Nasdaq: MGAM) announced today that the Company's Players Passport player tra....


Alliance Gaming Appoints Member to Board - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Alliance Gaming Corp. (NYSE: AGI) announced today Stephen M. Race has been elected to the Company's ....


Gaming Executives Top Highest Paid List - Sunday 12th of June 2005

Casino bosses cashed out a large number of stock options last year, boosting their total compensatio....